Six-Run Sixth Results in 10-5 Loss at San Francisco
LMU led 5-4 headed into the sixth inning.
April 19, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The LMU baseball team (18-19, 7-6 WCC) led 5-4 headed into the bottom of the sixth inning on Friday, but San Francisco (22-15, 9-4 WCC) exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth en route to claiming a 10-5 victory over the Lions in game one of a three-game WCC series being played over the weekend at San Francisco's Benedetti Diamond.
David Edwards, Cullen Mahoney and Tanner Donnels all collected two hits in the loss, with Donnels posting three RBI. LMU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead by way of three runs in the top of the first inning, but USF refused to let the game get out of reach, scoring twice in the bottom of the first off of LMU ace Colin Welmon. The right-hander lasted just five innings, allowing four runs on three hits and three walks while striking out five batters, but left with a lead and in line for a victory.
Unfortunately the LMU bullpen was unable to hold the advantage as Carlos Fuentes recorded just one out while facing eight hitters, surrendering six runs (five earned) on five hits, before handing the ball over to lefty Brandon Horth. Horth did well to stop the bleeding and keep the Dons at bay, pitching 2.2 scoreless innings. After being tagged with the loss, Fuentes fell to 1-1 on the year.
Junior Abe Bobb got the start for USF and lasted just long enough to earn a victory to improve to 2-5. The right-hander tossed six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk while striking out four. Haden Hinkle was impressive in relief, pitching the final three scoreless frames to record his second save of the year.
LMU's offense came out swinging in the first, scoring three times on three hits and a Don error to take the early 3-0 lead. Donnels contributed the two-RBI single with the bases loaded and two out before an error on the same play allowed the third run of the inning to come home.
USF responded with a pair of two-out runs of its own in the bottom of the frame when Derek Atkinson shot a double inside the bag at first with men at first and second to clear the bases. The Dons totaled three doubles on the afternoon.
Tommy Cheek became the first Lion player to hit a fair ball over a fence this year, but it did not go for a home run as the net atop the fence is an extension of the wall and a player must clear a yellow line half way up the net for a round-tripper. The ball bounced back into play for a leadoff double, but LMU would eventually score the run when Donnels shot a single through the right side. Zac Fujimoto brought Matt Lowenstein and the second run of the inning home on a safety squeeze, placing the bunt nicely down the third base line.
Welmon nearly escaped a big jam in the fifth when USF put runners at second and third with nobody out. The right-hander struck out the next two, but Zachary Turner shot a clutch two-RBI single through the left side to bring home Justin Maffei and Ryan Matranga.
LMU had things unravel in a big way in the sixth as the Dons loaded the bases with one out. Brendan Hendriks got the rally started with a gift single when he grounded a ball to first and had it take a high hop over the head of Cheek at first base. Two singles followed before Fuentes hit Maffei with the bags full to tie the game. Jason Mahood followed with a RBI-single before Bradley Zimmer shot a two-RBI double into left field. A costly error capped the frame as Cheek had a ball roll through his legs, allowing the final two runs to come in to score and run the tally to its eventual final of 10-5.
LMU and USF will continue the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.
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